A clause in the Emancipation Proclamation allows for the raising of Black regiments in the Union Army. Massachusetts Governor (and Hingham resident) John Albion Andrew created the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry, the Union Army’s first fighting unit raised among free Black men. Men from Hingham or with Hingham roots who enlisted in the 54th or its sister unit the Massachusetts 55th Volunteer Infantry included Corporal David H. Champlin (1835-1886), Louis (or Lewis-records are unclear) Legard Simpson (1841-1918), Jason Prince (1842-1881), Samuel F. Beach (1836-1871), Henry T. Winslow (1846-1871), Richard S. Winslow (1831-1904), Warren F. Freeman (1844-1868), William H. Freeman (1841-1891), and Benjamin F. Lee (1844-1909).

[Images: ancestory.com Source: Hingham Historical Society]